What a day. Went to work on a Blackhawk, which was different. But A FREAKIN’ BLAST!
We haven’t determined exactly whether we’re allowed to mention the names of the places we’re going now right away. We’ll clear that up tomorrow. I understood that we were allowed to tell you all about it as soon as we finished and return to Baghdad but a couple of my colleagues thought differently. So I’ll err on the side of caution. All I will say for now is that we went to two different places today. One was a Forward Operating Base and the other a pretty big camp.
The FOB was a stark contrast to what we’ve seen to this point. It was a tiny place that looked as if it was thrown together with whatever materials were handy. We did an outside show for about 30 guys who were about to head out on a mission. Three of their men had just been wounded in a particularly vicious grenade attack.
While most there agreed that, overall, things are better now as compared to two years ago, they said there’s been an uptick in violence because of the upcoming elections here.
What struck me was the attitude of these guys (not being chauvinistic-there were no women in this group). They are in a place that’s surrounded by a lot of Saddam’s old cronies who are hell-bent on expressing their displeasure over the current state of affairs. Most of the men on the base just kept describing them as some “bad, bad people”. When the show was over, they simply put on their protective gear and headed out to prepare to leave. All went about it calmly and with a little humor. We walked out to see them off and they asked us to take pictures with them and even laughed while we were doing it. I just kept thinking how much trepidation I would exhibit under the same circumstances.
Then we took a fairly quick chopper ride over to the large base and had a meal in a building that was larger than the base we’d just been on (almost, anyway). The crowd for the show was big and, as always over here, a lot of fun. Col. Shock continues to be a good sport about becoming part of my act.
Nodding off at the keyboard now and I still have some phone business to attend to back home. I apologize for my lack of eloquence this week but I’m exhausted and words seem to fail me when I really try to describe something anyway. I’ll keep passing along the good wishes everyone has been mentioning to me.